I love the idea of a community of science fiction reviewers — so I’ve put together a list of a handful of book review blogs focused on classic/slightly more esoteric science fiction. Obviously there are plenty of great blogs I’ve omitted that have reviews of new releases or only occasional vintage science fiction…. Or, blogs that refrain from reviews of vintage science fiction unless participating in certain reading challenges….
Please visit them, comment on their reviews, and browse through their back catalogues.
1] Speculiction….: An under visited /commented on blog with quality book reviews of classic science fiction — however, the reviewer, Jesse, is limited by the lack of older science fiction available to him in Poland. I especially enjoyed his reviews of Ballard’s “beautifully strange enigma” that is The Crystal World (1966) and of course, my favorite science fiction novel of all time, John Brunner’s magisterial Stand on Zanzibar (1968). An index of his reviews can be found here. He also has a good mix of newer science fiction reviews as well.
2] The PorPor Books Blog: SF and Fantasy Books 1968-1988: I find this blog interesting predominately for his book reviews which appear about once a week — the tend to be more on the esoteric end, hence my fascination — who has even heard of Stanley Schmidt’s Newton and the Quasi-Apple (1975)? In between are numerous posts of scanned in sci-fi magazines (especially of the Heavy Metal type) etc of the 70s/80s which, personally, are not as interesting. Unfortunately, there isn’t a helpful index to browse the book reviews/authors.
3] SF Mistressworks: A BAFSA nominated collating blog of reviews of novels by female science fiction authors pre-2000 run by Ian Sales at It Doesn’t Have to Be Right. The reviews by Sales himself and Nic Clarke are especially worthwhile. I’ve found countless novels/authors as a result. Also, if you’ve reviewed sci-fi novels by female authors pre-2000 you should go ahead and submit them because some months are relatively sparse.
4] Potpourri of Science Fiction Literature: Run by my friend 2theD — whenever he comes to the US he stocks up on suitcases of used science fiction. I prefer his reviews of older science fiction (but, that’s obvious considering my interests) — for a taste, his review of Bob Shaw’s One Million Tomorrows (1971) and Brian W. Aldiss’ Greybeard (1964). We disagree frequently — he’s not a fan of Malzberg or Russ — but the reviews are always worth reading. Considering the work he puts into them he deserves more comments! And, who can’t help but promote a champion of John Brunner’s greatness? Here’s a handy INDEX to his reviews.
5] AQ’s Reviews: Nice long, thought-out, and intriguing reviews of a mix of new and old science fiction. For example, Vance’s Big Planet (1957), Hal Clement’s Needle (1950), etc…. And there’s an INDEX.
6] Jennre: A Semi-guided Tour for the SF-curious: A criminally underread blog of classic (predominately 40s-60s) science fiction short stories…. Generally more a thematic resource than review proper although the author’s opinion on a short story/author is often very apparent. Here’s a nice list of useful sf-resources. And an example of the type of entry — Brian Aldiss’ short story ‘Judas Danced’ (1958).
7] Battered, Tattered, Yellowed, & Creased: Almost all the sci-fi reviews are of vintage science fiction! There are interspersed reviews of pulp mysteries and occasional art posts etc. Recent reviews include James Blish’s Midsummer Century (1972) and Wilson Tucker’s The Long Loud Silence (1952). And a review index…
8] MPorcius Fiction Log: A substantial portion of his reviews are of classic SF. Highly recommended blog — tends to dabble in the more esoteric, like myself.
Thanks for all your work and keep the reviews coming!